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Ethnicity and Active Citizenship: a Case of Roma in Slovenia . Dr. Alenka Janko Spreizer. Background. For a discussion on Romani people and active citizenship we need to distinguish between two different lines of theories on Romani issues:

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Ethnicity and active citizenship a case of roma in slovenia l.jpg

Ethnicity and Active Citizenship: a Case of Roma in Slovenia

Dr. Alenka Janko Spreizer

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


Background l.jpg
Background

For a discussion on Romani people and active citizenship we need to distinguish between two different lines of theories on Romani issues:

1) primordial theories on Romani ethnic origin (“Indian origin”, Romani chib, “nomadism”)

2) constructivistic theories on Romani identity, social processes of ethnicity, examination of political context.

(all ethnic and cultural differences result from social construciton processes)

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


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Contextualisation

  • EU accession process:1993, Copenhagen criteria and Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities

  • Political participation of Roma in Europe as an aspect of active citizenship: five congresses of Romani international activism: diplomatic success of the IRU in EU, UN, OSCE.

  • 1994, CE: introduction of Education for Democratic and Active Citizenship

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


Education for democratic and active citizenship l.jpg
Education for Democratic and Active Citizenship

  • Includes education for human rights, citizenship, peace and intercultural education, concepts of democratisation and participation.

  • Implication: the preprequisite for active citizenship is an individual’s citizenship

  • Emphasizes knowledge of legislation; citizens’, political and social rights and obligations

    (Mohorcic-Spolar 1999:5-7)

  • Ruud Veldhuis and Education for Democratic Education, 1997

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


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Political/Legal and Economic Aspect of Active Citizenship

  • Roma as “autochthonous ethnic community” vs. legal definition of the Romani minorities as transnational and non-territorial minorities

  • Romani language as non-territorial language, vs. territorialization of “Romani community” based on their ethnic minority status.

  • Article 65 of the Constitution; absence of the Law on Roma>> Programme of Measures for Helping Roma, 1995

  • Violations of rights: representation in local communities; “civil initiatives”

  • Systemic racism: segregation of Romani pupils; the Erased, employment and poverty

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


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Social and Cultural Aspects of Active Citizenship

  • Diversity: Romani people as culturally diverse Diaspora; various groups speak different dialects of the Romani oral language merged with local indigenous dialects.

  • Different churches and beliefs

  • Preservation of cultural boundaries between various Romani and non-Romani groups vs. multiculturality

  • The state administration, Romologists and activists themselves pursue an “ethnicised” formulation of culture characteristic of the Romani “ethnic group”.

  • Discussing social and cultural aspects of citizenship we thus cannot avoid the concept of ethnicity.

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


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Conclusion I

  • Discussing social and cultural aspects of citizenship we thus cannot avoid the concept of ethnicity.

  • Problems: insensitivity with regard to the discrimination of Roma.

  • Verbal and physical assaults on Roma remain unsanctioned as racially-motivated attacks.

  • Insensitivity to migrations of Roma seeking refugee status, denied asylum applications and the returning of Roma to their “countries of origin”

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005


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Conclusion II

  • A suggested approach to Education for Active Citizenship is to take into account the anthropological concept of ethnicity and develop programmes for active citizenship for both minority and majority populations.

  • It cannot be denied that the so-far developed programmes, mainly concentrating on the Romani ethnic group or based on the distinctions of this group, could also have importantly contributed to the emancipation of Roma.

  • Have Roma actually had any opportunity to exercise human or minority rights with the state institutions and officialsstill being impregnated with systemic racism ?

9.Andragoški kolokvij, sobota, 15. oktober 2005





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